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  1. Default Need help planning roadtrip for German relatives

    I have some older German relatives and my parents coming to visit me in May. They expressed a desire to see more of the wonderful scenic landscapes and wonders (canyons, petrified forests,national monuments etc) with Grand Canyon high on their list. However, I do want them to see a bit of the city life too. I'm pretty sure they cannot walk too much in the heat and so should probably avoid too much of AZ and UT.
    My thought is if I can start in SF and end up in LAs Vegas and get all the possible wonderful sights in between with GC being a must. Could you'll please suggest the best sequence of places and route to go. I can plan for about 6-7 days. I am getting anxious since I'm running out of time to make flight bookings,
    Thanks a lot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Within Limits

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    You do have a problem. Actually a couple of them. In May, the passes over the Sierra Nevada will most likely still be snow-bound, meaning you can't take the short route from San Francisco to Las Vegas through Yosemite. And many of the places your guests have expressed an interest in are in Arizona and Utah, and require a bit of hiking to really see at their best. Nevertheless, It is still possible, I think, for you to be able to show them a great time and do almost everything you mentioned. I'd start by spending Day 1 in San Francisco, showing them the sights. Activities that don't require a lot of walking include a trolley ride, a ferry ride out to Alcatraz, and a great seafood dinner somewhere. On Day 2 drive to Carson City, NV by way of US-50 east from Sacramento. Take some time to drive around Lake Tahoe, or go up into Virginia City for some old west ambience - I haven't yet met a German who was not at least interested in the American West. Day 3: Head down US-395 along the 'back side' of the Sierra Nevada and spend the evening and night at Death Valley National Park. It's a very scenic drive and there are a couple of short nature hikes available in the park. On day 4, pass through Las Vegas and over the Hoover Dam to Williams, AZ. If they want, they can have a quick taste of Las Vegas, and you can take them on the section of old US-66 between Kingman and Seligman, AZ. Day 5 would then be devoted to the Grand Canyon. If you drive the rim road, there are a number of scenic view points that are just a short walk from the various parking lots. Depending on how everyone does and how much time you take, either return to Williams for the night or push a little farther along to Kingman. In either event, you'll be in position for the drive on Day 6 back into Las Vegas to finish things off.

    Each day's drive, as I've laid it out is less than about 350 miles, and so leaves time to get out of the car along the way. In may, temperatures won't have peaked yet. In Death Valley, the hottest place you'd visit, daytime highs average around 99 in May, while in Carson City, they're only 72, and at the Grand Canyon, highs will only be around a chilly 61. Just use common sense in Death Valley, keep your walks short, and carry plenty of water, and everyone should be fine. So with a week and a willing tour guide (you!), your parents and relatives can have a great time. The only thing they won't see is the Petrified Forest, but I don't think they'll mind given everything else you can show them.


  3. Default Thanks- need a little more advice

    Thank you very much- this is exactly what I needed.

    SF(ON)-Carson city (ON) -virginia city-lake tahoe-death valley(ON)-vegas (ON)-hoover-williams
    ON= Overnight

    I was looking through the other threads to see if I could get Hotel reccomendations in the places you suggested but did not get any in particular.Could someone suggest any..

    Is there any way, I can see the giant redwoods on my route? Also, I have tried plotting my complete route using one of those online mapsters but I always am given only the option for Beginning and Ending address- how do we make a route?

  4. Default Death valley

    What makes going to Death valley worth it? Can I substitute it with another site that will still keep me on my route to Vegas? I am just concerned about the heat for m relatives..
    Also, would you suggest stayng overnight at Carson or Virginia city?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default 'Cause there is nothing like it in Germany!

    Quote Originally Posted by arunmit
    What makes going to Death valley worth it?
    Without a doubt, Death Valley is my favorite national park. Your companions can see much of what is cool about DV from the comfort of their car. Here are some of articles we have written about Death Valley. Furnace Creek Inn, Day trip, Titus Canyon, Tall tales, etc. Last year there were once-in-a-lifetime-wildflowers.
    Also, would you suggest stayng overnight at Carson or Virginia city?
    I am not sure there are any over-night (visitor) accomodations in Virginia City (there was one B&B) but it is mosly a day-trip place unless you are camping in the RV park.


  6. Default Decisions, decisions....

    I am really grateful for the advice.. but I can't make up my mind yet...

    Would it be possible to do the following in 5 days--

    SanF- Sequoia NP- LasVegas- Bryce (may be avoid?)- Grand Canyon- depart from some close by airport.

    If you give me routing information also (what roads to take) that will be geat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default (Almost) Anything is possible

    Quote Originally Posted by arunmit
    Would it be possible to do the following in 5 days--
    SanF- Sequoia NP- LasVegas- Bryce (may be avoid?)- Grand Canyon- depart from some close by airport.
    You can physically drive that far in five days, but in order to see much of the places you want to visit, you will certainly be driving at night every day. As far as routes go, there are many, many posts on this forum dealing with different highways. here are a couple of suggestions San Francisco to Las Vegas, and Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-San Francisco, and another route covering the distance from San Francisco to Las Vegas -- and you need to look at a map and and get an idea about just how far these places are from each other. In addition, you might find this field report useful -- it covers a route from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon and up to Bryce.

    Happy Planning!

  8. Default Popular Vegas-Grand Canyon Roadtrip

    I know there are numerous threads discussing these routes but I couldn't find one that really answered my questions....
    I have booked my flights into and out of Vegas and planned route is-
    Vegas-Zion NP-Bryce-Grand Canyon (North?)- Williams(Page?- train trip to South rim?)- Lake Powell- Vegas
    I can't figure out the best route and if I have missed any sites worth seeing on the way in the time I have. My current thought is to overnight at the following places...

    May 31-Arrive LV-Sightseeing
    Jun 1-Leave Vegas- see Hoover on the way?)
    Jun 2 -Zion
    Jun 3-Bryce or Grand Canyon (N)?
    Jun 4- Grand Canyon (can I fit Williams, South Rim etc?)
    Jun 5-Head back to Vegas- see Lake Powell etc

    I would really appreciate if someone could review this and make any corrections or suggestions. Also I am unable to plot an overview map showing all stops and directions. How does one do that?
    Thanks a lot for any advice...
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-24-2006 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Combined threads relating to the same trip.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Less is More

    I think your plan could work as is, but is more likely to be a bit overambitious. This is a case where if you try to do everything you have listed in the order stated, you'll end up scurrying from place to place rather than enjoying some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. I'd suggest the following changes:

    June 1: Hoover Dam really isn't on the way from Las Vegas to Zion, and you will get to it later anyway, so instead try NV-147 and NV-167 (Northshore Rd) through Lake Mead National Recreation Area to Valley of Fire State Park on your way up to Zion.

    June 3: It's conceivable to do both Bryce and the North Rim, but since you're going to the South Rim anyway, I'd forego the rather long in-n-out drive to the North Rim and spend some quality time at Bryce instead.

    June 4: Bryce to the Grand Canyon is about 300 miles. So if you add in sufficient time to enjoy the Canyon I don't see where you'd have a lot of time for much else.

    June 5: This is the time to see Hoover Dam. You have to cross it on the way back to Las Vegas. You could also take a bit of time and travel the old Route-66 section between Seligman and Kingman, AZ.

    As to getting good point-to-point maps, there are really two separate options. There is the free on-line software and the commercially available mapping routines. To some extent, this is a case of you get what you pay for. While the free stuff can be made to work in the sense that you can, with effort, find out what you want to know, the for-sale software is generally more feature packed and useful.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-24-2006 at 07:13 PM.

  10. Default

    Thanks for all the advise...

    I have dropped a couple of sites (and reversed the direction) just because I know its going to be hard on my folks doing the long drives.. I am only unclear on one stop which is the second one...
    Day 1- Overnight at Vegas
    Day 2- See Hoover and head to.... (initially I was going to head straight to Grand Canyon South rim but since it was 4.5 hrs, I thought I'll break the journey -- Looking at the route to GC, I see possibility of staying at Kingman or Peachtree)- I need help here!!
    Day 3- see GC Caverns and Oatman and then head to GC- Stay Over night(what is the best place to stay?)
    Day 4- Spend the day at South Rim and in the evening head to Page
    Day 5- Spend the day at Lake Powell and head to Zion NP
    Day 6- Drive through Zion NP and head back to Vegas

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